From the 3/3 USA Today ...liberal daydreaming? I'm wont to think so....
VATICAN CITY (AP) Â Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday he will consider increasing women's "institutional" role in the church but reiterated that they would remain barred from the priesthood, Italian news agencies reported.
The pontiff made the comments in response to a question by a clergyman during an audience with Rome's parish priests, the Apcom and ANSA agencies said.
Benedict said he would begin reflecting on the possibility of giving "institutional" recognition to women after noting that women's "charisma" had always played an important role in the church, the agencies said.
He mentioned Mother Teresa and Saint Catherine of Siena, among others, and did not say what type of institutional roles he had in mind.
Mother Teresa started her international order in the Indian city of Calcutta in 1950 and became a global icon of humanitarian causes before her death in 1997. Saint Catherine, who lived in the 14th century, cared for the sick and was consulted by the Vatican about the affairs of the Church.
Benedict's predecessor, Pope John Paul II, unequivocally backed a male-only priesthood, arguing that Jesus chose men as his apostles.
In one of his few concessions, the late pontiff formally permitted women to serve at the altar, approving a practice that was already widespread in the United States and western Europe.